Friday, January 23, 2015

Michael Urie Directs New Series “What’s Your Emergency”

In this exclusive audio interview Emmy Winner Charlotte Robinson host of OUTTAKE VOICES™ talks with actor Michael Urie (Ugly Betty, Buyer & Cellar, Partners) about directing his new comedy web series “What’s Your Emergency” that premiered January 27th on Stage17, the digital platform that’s bridging the gap between traditional theatre and new media. “What’s Your Emergency” created by and starring Ryan Spahn and Halley Feiffer features a cast of Broadway veterans including Sierra Boggess, Debra and Reed Birney for six episodes. Taking place in Hell, Michigan, the show chronicles the misadventures of the inept rescue workers of the town’s 911call center. The show also features a slew of guest stars including Urie’s Ugly Betty costar America Ferrera, Alan Cumming, Lynn Cohen, Richard Kind, David Krumholtz, and Mike Sorrentino. We talked to Michael about what he hopes to accomplish with this new comedy series and his spin on our LGBT issues.

When asked what his personal commitment is to LGBT civil rights Urie stated, “ I feel as an actor we have a responsibility to entertain first and foremost but I also feel like being in the public eye and putting work out there for public consumption, we also have a responsibility for artists as activists or activists as artists. I feel strongly that it’s important to show good role models in the LGBTQ community and not to avoid characters. When people first started to know who I was doing Ugly Betty, I was told by industry insiders not to take another gay character because the character I played was openly gay and also specifically that character was very campy, very fashionable, also very bitchy. I think people were afraid I’d be pigeonholed by playing gay characters but I haven’t shied away from playing gay characters and I also have gotten to play a wide variety of gay characters since then. I’m so proud that Matt Bomer just won a Golden Globe for The Normal Heart, a gay man playing a gay man. That’s very rare. I mean straight actors get awards for playing gay characters all the time but you don’t often see gay actors playing gay characters, at least you don’t see them in the mainstream and up on stage accepting awards. So that was a pretty proud moment for me when I saw Matt up there accepting that award. I think it was a huge step. I want to keep working towards things like that. I want to see the community continue to strive. We keep adding letters to LGBTQ, hopefully someday it won’t matter what letter we are. We’ll all just be people.”

Michael Urie recently finished a successful Off-Broadway run and national tour of Jonathan Tolins’ Buyer & Cellar for which he received the Drama Desk Award, Clarence Derwent Award and Lucille Lortel Award for Outstanding Solo Show, as well as nominations for Drama League and Outer Critics Circle Awards. He’s taking his one-man show Buyer & Cellar to London in March to perform as part of the 10th anniversary season of the Menier Chocolate Factory from March 12th to May 2nd. “What’s Your Emergency” premiered January 27th on Stage17.
For More Info: stage17.tv

Friday, January 16, 2015

Massachusetts Breast Cancer Coalition Prevention Event

In this exclusive audio interview Emmy Winner Charlotte Robinson host of OUTTAKE VOICES™ talks with Cheryl Osimo Executive Director of the Massachusetts Breast Cancer Coalition about their premier fundraising event that takes place in Boston on January 24th. The Massachusetts Breast Cancer Coalition (MBCC) is the only breast cancer non-profit working closely with a research organization (Silent Spring Institute) to investigate preventable, environmental causes of the disease. This work is funded through annual fundraising events like the upcoming Lesbians & Friends Dance: A Party for Prevention. On Saturday January 24th for the 17th year, hundreds of women will come together for an evening of celebration and hope for a future free of breast cancer. We talked to Cheryl about working to lower the national statistic that ONE in EIGHT women will develop breast cancer in her lifetime and her spin on our LGBT issues.

When asked about her involvement with our LGBT community Osimo stated, “My personal involvement has been one where many and most of my friends and my extended family are lesbian women. The Massachusetts Breast Cancer Coalition was founded by lesbian women and I have worked hand in hand with them on different issues throughout the years and have been very proud to learn from them and to help in ways they’ve guided me to help. I support full and equal rights for everyone. I believe in the legislative piece of gay marriage ruled by the Supreme Court. I believe all rights accorded to heterosexual married people will be accorded to married gay couples. We need to work together hand in hand to make sure we do all we can to change the world for future generations. The Massachusetts Breast Cancer Coalition is doing all we can to prevent this disease and we need to make sure that all of us who are working on a single issue branch out to help one another to work together on any and all issues that need attention... So I’m hoping in the new year that people are going to volunteer time to support those organizations that need help.”

Cheryl Osimo has been a devoted breast cancer activist and advocate since 1991 when she was diagnosed with breast cancer at the age of 41. She has been a catalyst in raising public awareness of the possible environmental links to breast cancer. Her commitment to breast cancer prevention and awareness will benefit women worldwide.The 17th annual Lesbians & Friends Dance: A Party for Prevention takes place on Saturday January 24th from 8:30P to12:30A at the Brookline-Boston Holiday Inn located at 1200 Beacon Street in Brookline, MA. Their goal is to raise at least $7000. Music will be provided by DJ Jodi. The event is sponsored by Eastern Bank Charitable Foundation, Fenway Health, Lisa J. Drapkin & Debbie Lewis, Wade Horowitz LaPointe LLP, Sue Wilson, Esq & Founder, Hy-Line Cruises, Kauffman Crozier LLP, Geri Davis, The Davis Group, Neiman & Associates Financial Services, LLC, Debra Neiman, CFP, Diane Neumann & Associates, Liz Nania OUT to Dance, Meg Steere, Wilson, Marino & Bonnevie, PC. Advance tickets are $40 and $45 at door and volunteers are needed for this important fundraising event.
For More Info: mbcc.org

Friday, January 9, 2015

Gay Activist Josh Sanders Speaks OUT (AUDIO)

In this exclusive audio interview Emmy Winner Charlotte Robinson host of OUTTAKE VOICES™ talks with Josh Sanders, Director of External Engagement, GO! Athletes Network about the change.org petition he initiated to cancel TLC TV show “My Husband’s Not Gay” which promotes the false and dangerous idea that gay people can and should choose to be straight in order to be part of their faith communities. With over 125,000 signatures this action has sparked mainstream media’s attention and hopefully will result in the cancellation of this misrepresented view of our LGBT community. “My Husband’s Not Gay” also sends a very disturbing and irresponsible message to our LGBTQ youth who are four times more likely to attempt suicide than their heterosexual peers when dealing with bullying incidents. Sanders who is a devout Christian understands the important role faith plays in the lives of the show’s main characters especially after being subjected to six months of so-called "reparative therapy" that falsely claims to turn gay people straight. We talked to Josh about his inspiration to launch this petition to stop spreading such dangerous misinformation by cancelling TLC’s “My Husband’s Not Gay” and his spin on LGBT issues.

When asked what his personal commitment is to LGBT civil rights Sanders stated, “My personal commitment is to live authentically. I have to live authentically; I have to speak up if I see injustice and right now I love what’s going on with marriage equality. I love what’s going on with equal protection rights and the abilities for spouses to be able to receive health benefits. I want to be someone that works towards that in all areas. I work specifically within athletics right now. I love to see any type of discrimination towards LGBT youth done away with. So my personal commitment is just to live an authentic life and do what I can every day to make a difference.”

Josh Sanders is an advocate and educator with a passion for inclusion and equality in athletics and beyond. As Director of External Engagement with the GO! Athletes Network he builds upon GO’s mission of engaging, educating and empowering LGBTQ athletes and others. Josh speaks nationally on intersectional issues including religion, identity, homophobia, sexism, racism and other topics and has been a guest speaker and advisor for the NCAA on developing inclusive spaces within athletic departments for religious institutions.
To Sign Petition: change.org 

Friday, January 2, 2015

Terry Baum In New Solo Play HICK: A Love Story




In this exclusive audio interview Emmy Winner Charlotte Robinson host of OUTTAKE VOICES™ talks with playwright/actress Terry Baum about her solo play HICK: A Love Story, The Romance of Lorena Hickok and Eleanor Roosevelt that she’s performing through January 25th at The Berkeley City Club in Berkeley, California. Lorena Hickok was the most famous woman journalist of her day and the first woman to have a byline on the front page of the NY Times. She met Eleanor Roosevelt (ER) during FDR’s first Presidential campaign in 1932. She convinced her editor that this particular candidate’s wife was worth her own reporter and was assigned to the job herself. The love affair between the aristocratic First Lady and the charming, hard-living butch reporter lasted several years. HICK: A Love Story is based on 2,336 letters ER wrote to Hick over 30 years. These letters were discovered in 1978 when a researcher opened 18 boxes willed to the FDR Library by Lorena Hickok. The letters document a passionate lesbian relationship between Hick and ER in the early years of their friendship and a deep connection that lasted Eleanor’s lifetime. A few of ER’s quotes from these letters during their affair include “I can’t kiss you, so I kiss your picture good night and good morning” and “I would give a good deal to put my arms around you and to feel yours around me. I love you deeply and tenderly.” Hick helped Mrs. Roosevelt become an outspoken, media-savvy activist for democracy and human rights and one of the greatest women of the 20th century. We talked to Baum about HICK: A Love Story and her spin on our LGBT issues.

When asked what she would like to see happen for LGBT equality in the next few years Baum stated, “I would like to see of course federal recognition of gay marriage. That would be an important thing and I would like for people to not lose community after we gain this equality that we have fought so hard for, to keep going as a gay community and a political force and gay people to get more involved in electoral politics. If we want this thing to happen, federal recognition of gay marriage, then we have to elect different people to office. I feel that’s really important. All other kinds of activism are also important but I feel often we overlook the very crucial aspect of who actually makes the laws and spends tax money.”

Terry Baum is a pioneer lesbian playwright and has toured internationally as a solo performer. Her new solo play HICK: A Love Story that she wrote with Pat Bond and directed by Carolyn Myers, has a limited engagement of 19 performances through January 25th at The Berkeley City Club 2315 Durant Street in Berkeley, California.
For More Info & Tix: crackpotcrones.com